May 18, 2023
By Brian Lonergan
Americans have been so inundated with news and images of our immigration crisis over the last few years that they have become largely desensitized to it. The first few stories about illegal alien crime or catch-and-release excesses were shocking. After hundreds and even thousands of such stories, the reaction is mostly resigned disgust.
Now that the Biden Administration has opened the floodgates at the border by allowing the Title 42 public health order to expire, we are seeing the horrific results of our feckless leadership. While it takes a particularly offensive immigration story to command the country’s attention today, a recent tranche of news items stands out.
Naturally, the 1,951-mile border from San Diego to Brownsville is the epicenter of the crisis, but New York has emerged as the area most impacted outside the border states. In New York’s Orange County, 70 miles northwest of New York City, outrage is building after 20 homeless veterans were evicted from hotels to make room for a group of migrants who recently entered the country. The migrants were sent to Orange County from New York City, which has been overwhelmed with migrants since last summer.
If there is one group that should be immune to partisanship and its outcomes, it is struggling veterans. They fought and risked their lives for us. Now, as a result of the actions of this White House, we are telling them that their needs and problems are less important than those of foreign nationals who broke our immigration laws in pursuit of better job prospects. It is cruel and unconscionable.
The intentionally-caused migrant problem is wreaking havoc in myriad areas of life in America. A couple that had booked one of the same Orange County hotels for their wedding were informed that their reservations made months in advance for a block of 37 rooms were being canceled to accommodate the migrants.
Orange County is not a sanctuary county, yet it is being forced to absorb the consequences of New York City’s sanctuary posturing. In response, county officials took the matter to the State Supreme Court, which issued a temporary restraining order preventing New York City from sending more migrants to Orange County.
Further outrage is brewing in New York City, where six elementary school gyms are being used to house the overflow of migrants. Parents, many of whom claim to support the city’s sanctuary policies, are furious at the threat posed to their children by having unidentified foreign men living in their children’s school gym. Because of the hundreds of cots set up in school gyms, many students are essentially locked down in classrooms because the gyms open up to school playgrounds.
“It is not a hotel, it’s not a shelter. It is a school gym,” said New York City Council member Ari Kagan. “So the children of Coney Island should not pay for the misguided policies of the Biden Administration.”
The chaos in Gotham has apparently led to an epiphany for Mayor Eric Adams, who is now asking a judge to revisit the city’s sanctuary law. This represents a sea change in New York politics. Since Rudy Giuliani’s pro-law enforcement, low-crime mayoralty ended in 2001, the city has had a string of progressive mayors who bowed at the altar of sanctuary policies, and all the crime and dysfunction that comes from them.
Adams has professed his support for the city’s sanctuary status as well, but has been forced to confront the ugly truth: despite the flowery rhetoric, sanctuary policies are a colossal failure when actually put to the test.
How did we get here? While this might indeed be a humanitarian crisis—as anti-borders politicians and media talking heads are fond of saying—it is one that has been created on purpose by the Biden Administration.
This is not the result of a tsunami that destroyed a faraway country whose citizens are now desperate for food and shelter. Joe Biden and his water carriers gutted our immigration enforcement ability from within while encouraging the rest of the world to “surge the border.”
The rest of the world, most of whom are seeking a higher standard of living and not fleeing legitimate government persecution, is now massed at our border awaiting entry. As a result, our once-prosperous and secure country is starting to resemble the Third World squalor from which the migrants are trying to escape.
Contrary to the propaganda advanced by our domestic revolutionaries, America is an incredibly generous and humanitarian country. Now, apparently, to prove these naysayers wrong, we are being generous to our own detriment. A government that prioritizes foreign nationals over our children and homeless veterans cannot command the support of the governed.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of illegal migration.
Also published at American Greatness, May 18, 2023.
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